Wednesday, October 29, 2008

can't fathom the depths

Anyone not aware that we are in the final days of a presidential election and who is not under two years old must be living somewhere far away or be somehow incapacitated both mentally and physically.

It's really that simple, so I'm certainly not breaking news when I point this out. We in the U.S. are in the twilight of a make or break election, a period when we get screwed by the "maverick" and the hockey mom or we see our nation finally elect outside the usual old, white man box. Yes, maverick gets square quotes because he so isn't. He's a bitter and nasty old man who we'll hopefully soon see the last of in the national spotlight.

Of course I'm not voting Obama because he's a black man, but it is historic that of the two major party candidates still left in the fight one of them is indeed black. This has never happened before, and even more insane is that, not only are we likely to finally elect our first black president but this is the first time a black person has actually been a viable candidate.

So close to electing Obama is historic, but what does it say that it's taken us this long to actually have this option? What does it say that no other black person has ever made it this far? What does it say about our nation that the only black people who I can remember running were also so unlikely to win? Who have we had in the past as options? Al Sharpton? Jesse Jackson? Alan Keyes? Okay, try to think of Alan Keyes as viable without pissing your pants from laughing.

Why have we never seen a viable and sensible black candidate before? Where are the Andrew Youngs when we need them?

I don't know what this says about us. I doubt we are as far passed our racist past as we'd like to believe, but I'd also like to believe that Obama represents a huge step forward. I just hope he wins and then lives to show us the change he keeps promising.

This actually began life in my brain as I pondered what sort of person thinks McPalin is worth voting for. I can't fathom the idiocy that I feel it takes to think it's okay to vote for those two. I don't mean to offend, but I can't help but be offended when I realize how close this race is. I really can't accept that intelligent and thoughtful people look at Sarah Palin and are okay with voting for her. McCain? I just don't know. I really just don't know.

maybe about to freak out

There was a time, and I was a little proud of this, when I felt as if I could walk into any restaurant and fill out an application and walk away with a job. Things are suddenly not even close to like that.

I've spent two days filling out applications, and I decided today to take a break. Yesterday Cute Boyfriend hung out with the kids for a bit while I went job hunting. I dropped an application off at the awesome local used book store, and then I heard nothing. Of all the places I've applied this one would be the coolest to work.

Other than the three-ish years I wasn't a very good stay at home dad, I've pretty much done nothing but restaurant work for nearly twenty years. Okay, there was a stint as a security guard, and there were the random months of random jobs through a temp agency, and there was the drywall labor position where I sanded and carried out scrap and smoked pot in the back of the new unit and jumped in the bed of that one guy's truck to scram from the job site when OSHA showed up.

Suddenly, perhaps because of the financial climate, no one is hiring cooks. I haven't gone to every single restaurant I could, so perhaps there are jobs I'm distancing myself from, and really, I should swallow my pride and try, but I really don't want to work at Cracker Barrel or Waffle House or the steak house with the zillion item hot bar or any fast food ever. Also, I don't want to have to take out my ear rings, because I don't want my ears to shrink back to normal size.

The problem really is that I need money. I'm sitting on the last few dollars from my last paycheck, and I'm trying like hell not to even think about that because that makes me think about the place I've most recently been fired from, and the whole story about how/why I got fired just pisses me off.

It's all a bit depressing. I finally gave up for the day yesterday out of a depressed frustration. I should be able to find a job. I have experience and skills, but it's the same every place I've been to.

"Your application looks good. You have a lot of experience, but we're full up right now. If something comes up, and you know how restaurants are, we'll give you a call."

I do know how restaurants are. I wrote a report about this thing at the shitty business college I'm still paying off. Annual average turnover in restaurants is three hundred percent. That means that over the course of a year, the average restaurant hires and loses enough staff to fully staff itself three times over. That's fucked up to say the least, and I'm part of that, or was.

There's a local produce company, the kind that sells and delivers to restaurants, a place I'm familiar with, having used their services at a number of restaurants at which I've worked. They have a marquee on their sign that has read "now hiring drivers" for as long as I can remember. I've contemplated this, but I know the sort of hours required, think three in the morning start time. If Momma and I had our own cars, as opposed to sharing one, this job would be more likely, but as it is, there just isn't a reasonable way to even think about this one, though I do think if I could get used to the hours that I could actually enjoy doing this.

So I find myself still jobless, still searching, still unhappy with my lack of options and unhappy with those things that seem like options. I could start looking outside of the restaurant industry, but I really don't know what else I could do. I just don't feel like I know how to do anything else.

Maybe it's time to suck it up and just take whatever I can find. I'm really not so proud that I wouldn't take a good job if it showed up, but I need something I can be proud I'm doing and that pays the bills and helps me buy a new car and find a new place to live. The Powerball is up to fifty nine million. I have not invested in the luck machine in quite a while, and I know it's a bad sign when Powerball tickets start to seem like a not unwise purchase.

Yeah, that's a bad sign.